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Joshua Allen, 19-year-old son of TV chef Rachel Allen, jailed for 15 months

The eldest son of Rachel and Isaac Allen has pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis for sale or supply.

Cork CIrcuit Criminal Cork
Cork CIrcuit Criminal Cork
Image: GoogleMaps

THE ELDEST SON of celebrity chef Rachel Allen has been jailed for fifteen months after he was found to be in possession of over €22,000 worth of cannabis for sale and supply at the internationally renowned Ballymaloe Cookery School in Co Cork.

Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard that Joshua Allen (19) would have faced a far more “grim” sentence if he had not become a “changed man” since his entry to rehabilitation for drug addiction last November.

Allen, who was without previous convictions, had pleaded guilty to possessing over €22,000 worth of cannabis for sale and supply. He also admitted possessing a small quantity of cocaine and cannabis for his own personal use. 

Mr Allen of Ballinmona, Shanagarry, Co Cork spent three weeks in custody last year after Judge Sean O’Donnabhain said that his response to facing serious drug charges was
 ”unimpressive.”

Last November, he was given the opportunity to become an inpatient at Cuain Mhuire rehab centre where he was successfully treated for his addiction issues.

‘Naive young man’

Cork Circuit Criminal Court today heard from defence barrister Siobhan Lankford who said that her client had done well in rehab having seriously addressed his addiction issues for the first time.

She said that his drugs operation was “amateurish” and that he was a “naive” young man who had left school prior to the completion of his Junior Certificate. She said that such was his addiction that he had tested positive for cannabis during the courts process.

Lankford requested that her client be treated like any “other young man in the court before you.” She added that he deserved a chance. Judge O’Donnabhain described as “offensive” the idea that he would treat the accused differently from anyone else. He said there was a significant level of culpability.

He set a headline sentence of five years for the charge but taking his guilty plea and age in to account he jailed Allen for two and a half years with the final fifteen months suspended.

He backdated the sentence to November 8th last when Allen spent three months in remand.

Judge O’Donnabhain said that Allen had a “sad background” having left school without any qualifications before his Junior Cert and having not received any qualifications since. He noted that the defendant had matured since his time in Cuain Mhuire.

“He has done his bit. He has come up to the mark. He has convinced his probation officer that he is a changed man.”

Arrest

Last year, Allen pleaded guilty to two drugs charges at Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, Co Cork on 30 August 2018.

He pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis for sale or supply when the market value exceeded €13,000 or more. The drugs were subsequently found to be worth over €22,000.

This charge was brought contrary to Section 15 (A) of the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Allen pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine on the same occasion. This is a Section 3 Offence of the Misuse of Drugs Act.

He also pleaded guilty to one other Section 3 charge at his home. The charge involves possession of cannabis on the 5 September 2018 at Ballinamona, Shanagarry, Co Cork.

Allen was arrested in September of 2018  after the controlled delivery of a parcel containing the cannabis to an address in East Cork.

Customs in Portlaoise Mail Centre had become suspicious of the parcel which had a US postmark.

Det Garda Michael O’Halloran told the court that the package was intercepted by customs in Portlaoise. It was found to contain cannabis with a street value of €22,694. A controlled delivery was arranged addressed to Joshua Allen at Ballymaloe Cookery School.

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The package was signed for and received by Allen. Gardai observed him opening the package and intercepted same. A small quantity of cocaine worth €66 was found to be in the wallet of the defendant.

Allen was arrested and detained at Cobh Garda Station. He admitted that it was his third or fourth time engaging in such a delivery.

He co operated fully with gardai and told investigating officers that he secured the drugs from a female resident in California whom he met in East Cork.

He had travelled to London and paid her €2000 in cash for the drugs.

On 5 September, a further small quantity of cannabis was found at Ballinamona, Shanagarry, Co Cork. The cannabis, which was found at his home, had a street value of €203.

In a statement last year Rachel Allen and her husband Isaac said they were “devastated” by the arrest of their son Joshua in relation to drugs charges.

The couple issued a statement in a bid to  “alleviate the frenzy of enquiry and speculation on going in relation to our son Joshua”. Isaac and Rachel Allen said that Joshua had admitted  his guilt and was co-operating with gardaí.The couple said their son had made a “huge mistake” which would lead to “profound consequences” for him.

Rachel Allen was brought up in Dublin and left home at eighteen to study at the internationally renowned Ballymaloe Cookery School. Ms Allen is a TV chef and author and teaches in Ballymaloe.

She is the author of four best selling cookery books and has appeared in television series for RTE and the BBC. Rachel Allen was not present in court. 

Allen, who was wearing a grey suit and white shirt, was accompanied by his father Isaac.

About the author:

Olivia Kelleher

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